Authors: Kathleen Ball
Secret Cravings Publishing
THE E-BOOK YOU HAVE PURCHASED:
Your non-refundable purchase of this e-book allows you
to only ONE LEGAL copy for your own personal reading on your own personal
computer or device.
You do not have resell or distribution rights without
the prior written permission of both the publisher and the copyright owner of
This book cannot be copied in any format, sold, or otherwise
transferred from your computer to another through upload to a file sharing peer
to peer program, for free or for a fee, or as a prize in any contest. Such
action is illegal and in violation of the U.S. Copyright Law. Distribution of
this e-book, in whole or in part, online, offline, in print or in any way or
any other method currently known or yet to be invented, is forbidden. If you do
not want this book anymore, you must delete it from your computer.
WARNING: The unauthorized
reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal
copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is
investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison
and a fine of $250,000.
If you find a Secret
Cravings Publishing e-book being sold or shared illegally, please let us know
Cravings Publishing Book
2014 Kathleen Ball
Publication: April 2014
Cover design by
Edited by Rebecca
Proofread by Courtney
All cover art
and logo copyright © 2014 by Secret Cravings Publishing
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED:
This literary work may not be reproduced
or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or
photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written
All characters and events in this book are
fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly
Secret Cravings Publishing
Embrace in loving memory of
my father, James Tighe.
I also dedicate this novel to all of you who helped care for him.
Especially Sharon Stone
the Resident Care Director
at Merrill Gardens, now called Emeritus in Lancaster CA, who led us lovingly
through hospice care, made us laugh and had our backs. Thank you to the whole
staff at Merrill Gardens, Shannon, Krista, Beverly, Mandy, Brittany,
, Karina, Alice and Tatiana. I’ve never known such
sweet and caring people.
To Dan, Tricia and Ryan, I love you guys. There are no
words to thank you enough for all you did for both Mom and Dad.
This book has been a long time coming and the patience
and support from Secret Cravings Publishing is greatly appreciated. Thank you
, my editor who performed a miracle
editing this book.
for the wonderful foreword.
Thank you to my family, friends and readers for
propping me up when I needed it—love you.
And to Bruce, Steven, Colt and Clara
because I love them.
1969, my life changed. In hindsight, I did not know it at the time. I was ten
and a world wise ten year old I was. Today many would call kids like how I was
. I saw my first
western movie in the theaters. It opened up new avenues for me
wanted to spend time with his family. The best way was a Sunday family day,
which included a dinner at Hot Shoppe's restaurant and a movie. He had taken
the family to see True Grit at the Greenbelt Theater in Greenbelt, Maryland.
This was long before home video or even home DVD. On a large silver screen was
the figure of one-eyed Rooster
. John Wayne
played this modern day Long John Silver with all the thrill and excitement that
I would find in many other John Wayne films alter on. He played Rooster larger
than life and I was hooked. He stole the screen. I always will remember the
last line of the movie, “Well little lady, come see a one-eyed fat man as he jump
his horse over a fence.”
later that year, I had a bad
I woke up about
ten o’clock. My father was watching a TV show he liked—little did I know it was
also a western.
was that western—a steampunk universe and spy
show wrapped into a neat package. James West, played by Robert Conrad, was a
government agent with all the gadgets that James Bond would ever have. That
show would be canceled soon—
I found the show
At ten, I
did not know I already liked the western genre. I was a fan of such TV shows as
The Cisco Kid
Roy Rogers and the Lone Ra
nger. However it was John Wayne’s
larger-than-life character that brought me to the western genre. Then there
were such shows as
The Big Valley
Have Gun Will Travel
Wanted Dead or
Death Valley Days
which filled my Saturday mornings when the cartoons were reruns.
as I found out growing up, was a morality play, a romance, and showcase for
good versus evil wrapped into one package. The good guy wore the sign of right,
like John Wayne, The Rifleman, or James West. The hero fought for justice even
if they wore a mask like Zorro or the Lone Ranger. There were good-natured
heroes, like Maverick, who stumbled into situations. Gunfighter, like the
—John Wayne—the Wild Bunch, or the Magnificent
Seven tried to keep the peace in lawless western townships. There were
dishonest people who were taught a lesson—sometimes at the end of a Colt 45
western, you found romance in the land and the people. The true mark of a good
western was a bit of both. John Steinbeck’s
and Ralph Mood’s
The Wild Country
example of tests of man and nature. Westerns were, and still are, tales of
people battling nature and each other.
thing about Western genre is how it is so easily adapted into other medium.
Think of the science fiction film,
with Sean Connery. It is a modern day remake of the classic
, with Gary Cooper.
are really science fiction
versions of the TV series
remake owes a large debt to the classic
rather than the 1960s film it was named for. The modern day western
Walker Texas Ranger
owes debts to the
Man with No Name
and even the film
brought martial arts to the western genre.
As I grew
older, I found westerns again. This time it was not on TV or in the movies. I
was living in Clearwater, Florida while working and going to school in Tampa. I
had an hour’s drive time and my car had a cassette player. One day, I was at a
flea market and there were old radio shows on cassette.
Have Gun Will Travel
The Lone Ranger
Sergeant Preston of the Yukon
. I bought many.
These old-time radio show
filled my idle hours in the car
with joy. As a side note, I also found such selections as
Burns and Allen
by Vincent Price—and
for my ears by Basil Rathbone. I loved listening to them as well.
may ask, “
, why are you writing this forward?
You never wrote a western!” I would say
Many years ago, during a period of writer’s block, I wrote a piece of fan
fiction combining a young Sherlock Holmes and James West—from the TV show
Thus my hybrid story,
Night of the
, was born. This short story was first printed in
Power Star Magazine
, and was later
The Red Circle
Sherlock Holmes fan publication. Its sequel,
The Case of The Retired American Agent
followed a year later.
state the western genre is dead issue. It isn't! It
lives nowadays in books like my friend Kathleen Ball, Nora Roberts, Lee Ann
Murphy, Rhonda Lee Carver and many others who
write the genre and better than I ever could.
reading an early e-copy of this book that you hold in your hand. It thrilled
me. I have not felt this excited about a western since
. Saddle up and enjoy this.
ANYTHING GOES and Lets Talk—Blog Talk Radio—Critic-Amazon, Affaire De
, A Piece of the Page and AUDIOWORLD Columnist-A Piece
of My Mind—Night Owl Magazine—and To Be or What—Newspapers everywhere.